It’s so cute how I make little To Do notes to myself that say things like, “Finish writing that story” because… I’m not gonna finish writing that story. I’m going to open the document, stare at it, play some Twitter #amwriting hashtag games and then take 16 Buzzfeed quizzes.
This is why every other month should be NaNoWriMo. It’s the only way I get anything done.
Between finishing Camp NaNoWriMo and realizing that Wynonna Earp season 3 started a couple of weeks ago, I haven’t been writing much. Also, those children. Those children take ALL my time. And work, I guess. Not sleeping, so much. I don’t do much of that.
But I had an idea for a something new–which always happens before I actually finish most of the old–and since the process of writing is a lot more fun than the process of editing or self-publishing, I think I’d rather dive into that than finish anything else.
There was a guest post on Chuck Wendig’s blog recently about the thrill of a new idea and slowing down when you have no deadline. It’s good advice from someone who wrote/designed “Iron Edda” which, honestly I have no interest in other than it sounding like the me I imagine myself to be every time I do three push-ups. But it’s a good reminder to the self-published and the hobby novelist that if this writing thing is for myself then I should just do what works for me and to hell with all expectation.
So I’ll just let those other projects simmer, especially the two super personal ones I’ve written in the last year. Let’s start something new for funsies and see where it goes.
A long time ago, in a suburb far far away…
Now… time to research some weird shit like… who invented mowing lawns and why?
It was touch and go there for a while. Not lookin’ too good this mornin’ when I still had 4,000 some odd words to go and a To Do List a mile long but… you know… you dig down deep and just like, totally blow off your To Do List and here’s what you get.
It’s only 20,000 words (20,031 if we’re being accurate) but that’s more of this story than I had a month ago and that’s something to be proud of.
Happy camping, writer friends. Maybe all your mosquito nets be undamaged.
Is anyone else, like…
*type type type, check word count, update CampNaNo word count, words written = 74*
*type type…. typetypetype, type… and…. type, check word count, update Camp NaNo word count, words written = 97*
*Buzzfeed, Instagram, Twitter*
*type type typety type type typetypetype typety type type typetypetype, check word count, update Camp NaNo word count, words written = 112*
UGH, is this month over yet?
I am just over 9,000 words away from meeting my adjusted Camp NaNo goal and it… doesn’t… look… good.
Unless I can write half of that today, in under 3 hours while multitasking some actual work stuff, I won’t make it.
So the question is: Readjust that goal again or take the fail and know that when my children get older I WILL have more time for writing again?
**UPDATE**: I wrote 4,339 words today which is almost half! This race ain’t over yet!
IS IT CHEATING if you change your goal to meet the reality of your circumstances?
I ask because I’m not sure. But neither am I sure that I care.
As I say to my students when they get a little too intense about a friendly game of dodge ball:
What happens if you win? Nothing. What happens if you lose? Nothing. There are no stakes other than your own enjoyment so ENJOY IT and don’t worry so much about the outcome.
I changed my CampNano word count goal to 20,000 because I think that’s doable, if still difficult for me to accomplish right now. Still, I think I’ll get more out of this experience if I can at least get close to my goal than if I fail miserably.
The real goal is to keep writing. Feeling good about what I can accomplish is key.
Before my first child was born, I told my OB/GYN that I was concerned I was a good strong candidate for some hardcore postpartum depression. She referred me to a therapist and suggested I see her before the birth so I could start working on coping strategies before the big event.
I spent three sessions of an hour each complaining about my mother-in-law.
Now, a good therapist–which she was not–would have read between the lines and addressed my issues with expressing emotion and how having a child was scary for me because it came alone with BIG EMOTIONS that I didn’t feel prepared for. My mother-in-law is a frequent expresser of emotions, you see. I did explain that. I did explain a lot of things. But when I said, “I don’t really think these sessions are helping me,” she said, “Well, you managed to fill the hour well enough.”
Let’s skip past the obviousness of her ineptitude and touch upon the most relevant nugget of wisdom for a busy person trying to fulfill a word quota for a Camp Nano project:
If you’re a good enough complainer, you can fill several hours–or several thousand pages–just with that. The good stuff, we’ll leave for next month when the pressure to perform is off.
Tell me more about my paycheck…
Also, writing is my best therapy. It doesn’t always make for great copy but it does force me to express and examine my issues several times over. And it’s free.
Geez Louise, Eda, why is your word count stuck at 23 today?!
Well, internet, given that “free time” is a precious commodity in my life and I’ve just wasted half of it restarting my damn computer, I’ve opted to go clean out my closet instead.
My computer doesn’t want me to write today. It’s not procrastination.
This is what I’ve written today:
I’ve got nothing doing. I had had a nice little fantasy about a Mexican actor I’ve had a crush on since film school.
Go go Na-noooooo!
I’ll tell you what: if Buzzfeed starts banging out the Mad Libs-style fun quiz, I’m never leaving that site again.
Here’s my favorite part of the dystopian YA novel Buzzfeed helped me write while I should have been real writing my Camp NaNo project:
The Chaperones began placing memory erasing coffee k-cups on the temples of all children. Rythe saw this and knew she must make her escape. She had heard a fable in her earlier years told by the children at her school, when the New Government was gaining control. Apparently there was a code to deactivate their android creations. What was that rhyme they used to chant around the schoolyard? Then Rythe remembered. She stood up and recited: “toenail, third rail, 001, jury duty, big ole booty, 001.” Suddenly, all Chaperones dropped their bottles and cans and stood up in unison, then left the room.
Toenail, third rail, 001
Jury duty, big ole booty, 001
I just now realized that today is the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo and I have absolutely no idea what the hell I’m doing.
Part of the reason I’m distracted is because I’m mad at my spouse.
And I just saw an ad for a real book written by a fake character on a show I like which is just… not fair. It’s not fair that fake people get to make real books.
I hate her simpering smile and her stupid face.
So the obvious solution to all of my problems is to write a much less sexy, much more sad establishment of a Space of My Own story about how I too would like to take a vacation from my marriage but I’m not a rich selfish bland self-righteous jerkbitch who would ever leave her children so instead I just stay late at work and take an extra lap around Target for some Me Time before returning to my hermit corner to write something that’ll inevitably be ignored into obscurity on Amazon.
Obviously a best seller. Super talented. Feeling like a winner. Definitely not the saddest sack of potatoes in this cellar today.